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Drone brood in the Flow frames!


I did a hive inspection on the weekend & found capped drone brood in the Flow frames!
I have a queen excluder in place & had a good look through the whole hive & the queen is in the brood box
With fresh layed eggs. The drone brood was on one frame both sides of it & it was one of the middle frames
& about 15cm across. I checked the queen excluder & there are no holes in it.
I moved the frame to the side so I can keep a eye on it though the window.
Any thoughts or solutions please.


Could be laying workers. You will probably need to take the frames out of the hive to clean them up, as the cocoons from the drone brood will disrupt the flow of honey when you open the Flow frames.


So I have the same issue. I believe most or all of the drone brood is dead, maybe from getting too cold. Will the bees yank them out and clean them up or will I have to clean them somehow? They are putting a lot of honey in the frame now.


If there is a lot of bee activity in the area of the dead drones, the bees will clean them out. Remember we talked about that on the other thread. Hopefully there is enough bees to prevent mated beetles from laying eggs in the dead drone brood first. That is if beetles are in your area, of course.


Jeff, the reason I asked this in this thread because this was specific to the plastic flow frames in a honey super. Our other conversation was all pertaining to brood boxes below the QX on wax frames.

I was hoping the answer was the same. I think I will give them a little time. The risk is the longer I wait the more honey is put in and I can’t use because of the drone bodies. There is plenty of activity in there.


Pictures would be useful in us determining if it’s laying workers or the plastic QX.


Pics of the frames or the QX? The QX is the plastic one that comes with the flow hive.

the 3 or 4 middle frames is where the drone brood is. I might swap one or 2 out and see if they clean the others.

If it is laying workers (which I think it is) then they have to be getting towards end of life since there has been a laying queen in the hive for 3 weeks now.




Remember we talked about damaging the drone brood, so the bees will clean it out. Well the same thing goes for dead brood. Take a good several looks at the video “City of Bees” on youtube. I think it’s at the start of the video they talk about how clean the bees keep the hive. The bees can’t tolerate anything in the hive that’s unclean, especially dead bees or brood.

The main thing is as long as the task of removing the dead brood isn’t too great that the number of workers can’t remove it quickly enough before beetles start laying eggs in it.


Here are the requested pics. I took 2 of the 4 frames with drone brood out and put in 2 clean ones. I will see how long it takes for them to clean the 2 remaining.


I was referring to the original poster.


They posted over a year ago.


It appears that the drones are emerging out of those cells. I’d be inclined to leave them in the hives so that the rest of the drones emerge & the bees can clean out any dead ones. The situation will get worse for the frames if you take them out of the hives because the brood will rot in the cells outside of the hive.

You’ll need to have an escape plan for the drones, so they don’t get stuck in the QX.


Ok. I think I will put the 2 I took out back in in the morning. I am assuming they will clean out the dead ones as well.


Yes that’s for sure, that’s what I would do. The only thing you have to consider then is the leftover cocoons. Others see it as an issue, but I’m not sure myself.

If you get some spare time, check out that video. It was made in the early 1960’s. But really worth watching from an educational point of view of bee culture.


Great video Jeff. I learned some new things from it.


I watched it several times at the start. Every time I watched it, I picked up something I missed the previous time.

The only doubt I have is the length of time they say that bees hang off each other before wax flakes appear. Based on my observations, I’d suggest that it’s a much shorter time.